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Give Back the Land

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Fourpealis
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Give The Land Back Native Americans have been subjected to some of the most inhumane atrocities. What about the land we walk upon makes it ours to occupy? Hundreds of years ago, one of the greatest forms of violence nearly wiped out America’s original owners from existence. What’s worse is that the bloodshed of the Native peoples has become almost invisible to the everyday American, while what’s left of the previously­indigenous population feeds off of the scraps White society has left for them. With this in mind, the most ethical actions the United States can do is return its stolen land. Thus, the United States federal government should give the land back to the Native Americans. The land that we currently reside on doesn’t belong to us, we stole it from the indigenous tribes that populated it before our arrival. Americans are so unaware of their own history that they don’t even recognize the atrocities committed against the Natives. The federal governments owes the Natives their original land, the reservations they currently live in are a testament to the oppression that occurred since Columbus sailed the seas. If not for the federal government who can say what the Natives could be doing now, it was our hand that saw to their demise. To exterminate a society like theirs, we began with supplementing Abrahamic religions for Indian culture, this effectively made Indian culture

disappear. Culture was not the only victim in our oppressive actions, the Trail of Tears slaughtered over 2,000 Choctaws and that was only the first removal (4). The federal government owes the Native people for the oppression that has transgressed.A society built off of the blood of Native bodies can do nothing but perpetuate oppression. The denial of the Native genocide has allowed the United States to construct a history of violence ­ the enslavement of Africans, destruction in Korea and the Philippines, as well as countless acts of unjust violence, precisely because it has never been forced to account for its imperialistic and destructive nature. It has upheld the notion that that which is different ­ non­White, uneducated, etc ­ is lesser, and is manageable, and able to be dominated. In other words, giving the land back isn’t just a simple act of land return; this process would trigger a deeper investigation of American entitlement, White privilege, and destruction that allows the United States to continue bloodshed today (1). We have forgotten the past for far too long, and as a result have been doomed to repeat it. The beginning of the Indian relocation started in 1830 and delegated insufficient land to accommodate the Native peoples. After the Indian Removal act of 1830 most indians were forced to move from the land they were just granted, these Natives were granted land east of the Mississippi River. The land granted to the Natives was too valuable so they were systematically removed from their land again. They were moved again and again until the Federal Government was satisfied. These poor living arrangements are the progenitors of the reservations today, these reservations are below the living standard of any able­bodied person. Reservation drop­out rates are a staggering 70% (3). Most reservations of today have a stiflingly high poverty rate, averaged around

40% (2). The Indian reservations are so bad that they’ve even been addressed before, in 1953 the federal government instituted an employment and relocation program that coincided with a termination legislation. The termination legislation saw to it that reservations ceased to exist as independent political entities (2). The actions the federal government has taken to destroy the Native people are very real and have halted societal advancement, the only way the United States can ever hope to redeem itself is to try and rectify past oppression. By giving the land back to the Natives we can ultimately force the United States to confront its cultural imperialism as well as halt a systemic form of violence against the United States’ original inhabitants. The United States has gone on long enough oblivious to the oppression it subjugates, it’s high time that equality wasn’t preached for and was actually achieved.

CITATION PAGE (1) Street, Paul “Those Who Deny the Crimes of the Past: Reflections on American Racist Atrocity Denial” (2004) Web. 06 Nov. 2012. (2) Sandefur, Gary D. "American Indian Reservations: The First Underclass Areas?" N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012 . (3) Frank, Ka. "Native Americans in the US Today: Oppressed and Ignored." Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. . (4)Len Green. "Choctaw Removal was really a "Trail of Tears"". Bishinik, mboucher, University of Minnesota. Archived from the original on 2008­06­04. Retrieved 2008­04­28.

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